If it's Burgundy and it's not Chardonnay, but Sauvignon Blanc - you're drinking Saint-Bris!
What?!! Aligote is not the only "other white grape" of Burgundy? Nope. Saint-Bris is yet another exception to the rule that says white Burgundy must be Chardonnay. Saint-Bris is an appellation in the northwest region of Burgundy, just southwest of Chablis, where the dominant white grape grown is Sauvignon Blanc. This might seem strange at first, but if you look at a map, you'll notice that Saint-Bris is closer to Loire Valley's Sancerre than to Beaune.
At The Wine House, we've been on the hunt to expand our direct-import Burgundy portfolio, especially from under-represented regions. To this end, we've been scouting out leads, tasting a lot, and in general, doing our homework. Newly arrived Domaine Verret, with the "Imported by: Wine House Limited, San Francisco, CA" sticker (that's us!) on the back label, met our criteria for offering wines of quality, value, and an authentic sense of place. I remember tasting samples of their wines last year and liking the Saint-Bris immediately. I wasn't concerned that this lesser known appellation would be too esoteric for our clientele. I was confident that those who shop with us and enjoy fresh, vivacious Sauvignon Blanc would be drawn to this wine.
The limestone soils contribute to the zippy minerality, though the texture of the wine is rather round. Super aromatic, on the nose exhibiting more exotic fruits and less cut grass aromas. As you can see from the photo above, I enjoyed a glass of Saint-Bris as an aperitif out on the back deck, enjoying the last of summer's warm rays after work last Saturday.
A month into the new school year, I've got the carpool arrangements nailed down and the after school activities locked in. Now into Fall, the days are recognizably shorter and the nights significantly cooler. I've been hitting the farmer's market hard, trying to satiate my lust for vine-ripened tomatoes. At home, I've planted my first ever fall/winter vegetable garden. I've already begun harvesting lettuce and kale. Some time soon, I'll be braising greens and serving it with this lovely, evergreen-scented Saint-Bris. It should be a tasty match! -- Anya Balistreri